Frugal or Crazy: Save Water & Money by Recycling Ice

Clean bags of ice ready to go for next weekend. No more trips to the convenience store for overpriced ice.

Once summer hits, my family turns to boating. That means bringing a large ice chest full of food and drinks on board. For years, we’ve made ice plus bought ice to the tune of $2 bucks a bag at times (depending where we get it–if we are desperate, we head to the marina or a convenience store — ridiculous, but if we planned ahead, it’s cheaper at the grocery store). The ice we make in our freezer is never enough to fill the chest, that’s why we have to buy more. Continue reading “Frugal or Crazy: Save Water & Money by Recycling Ice”

single stream recycling

Frugal Parenting: A Trip to the Town Dump with My Daughter

Though here she looks like she had fun at the dump, my daughter is just acting. But I’m hoping some of the lessons stuck with her. I know she won’t forget the smell of the dump!

Will my daughter remember the frugal lessons she learned at the town dump today?  Continue reading “Frugal Parenting: A Trip to the Town Dump with My Daughter”

Teaching Kids About Single-Stream Recycling in Fairfield, CT

The joys of single-stream recycling teach kids difficult lessons on saving money.

Today I packed my car with all the recycling bins and headed off to the dump. My son came with me on a whim–and what a great thing it turned out to be.  He saw I paid nothing to get into the dump, then he helped empty the baskets and bins, and on the way home, since I had a captive audience, I thought I’d let him know how much money we are saving thanks to Fairfield’s single-stream recycling program (here’s the link to a document that clearly tells you what you can and cannot recycle).

Recycling Português: Reciclagem
Single-stream recycling exercise teaches my son how silly it is to spend money on getting rid of your own garbage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“So, you know all that garbage we just recycled? We used to pay to get rid of that stuff at the dump. But now since this new thing called single-stream recycling, we don’t have to pay to get rid of all that,” I forged ahead, knowing full well he didn’t read my prior post on hauling garbage. “So, you know how much money people pay to get rid of their garbage?”

“Uh, no,” said my 12-year-old as he was playing with our family iTouch.

“Well, some of our neighbors who have those garbage trucks pick up their garbage pay over $500 a year to have that truck pick up, we pay $120 a year, and we will probably pay around $60 a year now because we are using single-stream recycling,” I paused.

Silence as he processed this information.

“You mean people pay $500 a year to get rid of garbage?” he was incredulous. “That’s just stupid!”

Ah, lesson learned…

~Marilyn, TFF

Update: How to Haul Your Own Trash and Set Up a Small Recycling Center

Here’s an update to our post: Private Trash Removal is Expensive, Here’s How Frugal Homeowners Reduce the Cost. Even in a couple of days of seriously single-streaming our recycling, we have reduced the garbage in our cans. (For the list of what you can and cannot include in single stream, click here for this PDF.) We set up a quick recycling center in the garage with materials on hand and completed it with labels–all done in about 30 minutes.

Also, here are photos of my husband’s car packed to go to the dump! It’s not a pretty sight to many, but if it saves us hundreds of dollars a year, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!

A Typical Dump Run on Saturday  Morning:

dump run
Here's the little sliver of a space in the garage that we wanted to turn into an organized recycling center. My husband built it years ago to keep us better organized. Hmmmm, didn't quite work. Before, it was packed with junk. But see what happened in 30 minutes of organization....
One shot of how we organized our little center. We tacked up labels on index cards so we can keep track of what goes where. The top red bin is for --ah, see, I already forgot!
Here's our labeling system!
Our label for the basket where we recycle our newspapers.